06/08/04 — Post 11 tops Pitt County West

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Post 11 tops Pitt County West

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on June 8, 2004 1:56 PM

MOUNT OLIVE -- A win is a win.

It's a cliche used in any sport and one that serves as a grim reminder at practice the next day that you survived while not putting forth your best effort.

Wayne County Post 11 won't practice today, but can use Monday's 12-7 victory against Pitt County-West as a learning tool. Despite not playing every pitch and lacking intensity, Post 11 managed to remain unbeaten in six outings and open its Area I East South Division schedule in successful fashion at Scarborough Field.

"I don't think we came out ready to play," second-year Wayne County coach Brad Reaves said. "I think part of the team did. We're still not coming (to the park) focused ... part of the group is and part of it is not. Until we start hitting on all cylinders, we're not going to be very good.

"We are not a good baseball team right now."

The nine-inning contest featured six lead changes and five ties. Neither team owned more than a two-run lead until Wayne County posted five runs -- all unearned -- on three West errors in the bottom of the eighth inning.

"I don't know that we earned that," Reaves said of the eighth-inning uprising. "We got our bunts down. You've got to make these teams play defense. You can't go out there and punch out continuously and win. I just think we're not having very good at-bats and we've got to get better at that."

Wayne County scored five runs on five hits in the first five innings, but could have had more. Pitt County-West hurler Cameron Jones, a right-hander from D.H. Conley, jammed the Post 11 hitters with inside pitches. He forced several infield pop-ups during that stretch and induced seven ground-ball outs.

The visitors also turned an inning-ending double play in the fifth after Post 11 had put runner aboard with one out.

Jones threw a perfect sixth.

"Their pitchers are pretty good pitchers," Reaves said. "But we squared very few balls up tonight. We got jammed up all night long and I don't understand that. We've got pretty good hitters in the lineup, but I don't know if we're at the plate guessing ... what we're doing.

"We've got to make some adjustments quick."

Pitt County-West (0-3, 0-1 South) owned one-run leads on three occasions and tied the game at 4-4 in the fourth. Coach Paul Hill's team pressured the Post 11 defense with aggressive base running which led to seven stolen bases in nine attempts. West executed a double steal to force the 4-4 deadlock.

Up 5-4 in the fifth, West's Bill Hopkins attempted to steal home on a 2-0 pitch with Bryant Cooke in the batter's box. Reliever Philip Pennington threw a perfect strike to catcher David Combs, who tagged a sliding Hopkins to end the inning. Combs had gunned down Hopkins on a steal attempt to end the third inning, also.

"That's a scrappy ball club over there," said Reaves, whose team travels to New Bern today. "We weren't holding them on and if we don't do that, we're not going to throw them out. We just weren't very quick to the plate, but when (Garrett) Davis came in, he was quicker to the plate.

"Combs throws the ball pretty good to second and has done so all year. He just didn't have much of a chance to throw them out tonight."

Davis shut down the visitors' run game and provided a key, game-tying hit in the seventh.

Trailing 7-5, Garrett Sutton legged out a bunt single to start the inning. One out later, Erik Lovett moved Sutton into scoring position with a base hit up the middle. Both runners advanced when the West defense misplayed Todd MacCoy's routine ground ball on a force-out at first base.

Davis ripped his two-RBI, bases-loaded single into left center field for the 7-7 tie. The multiple-run hit gave Davis a reprieve after he struggled in the seventh in relief of Pennington. Davis yielded two singles and hit a batter which enabled Pitt County-West to claim its two-run advantage.

Davis nearly threw a perfect eighth, but surrendered an infield single to Cooke.

"The first inning, I ran him out there and he wasn't loose," Reaves said. "We didn't have a catcher getting him ready. That's what I'm saying about our focus -- not doing the little things. He wasn't loose at all that first inning. But he's a competitor.

"Dadgum, he fought through it, did a good job coming back and got him a win."

Pitt County's defensive collapse against Post 11's bunting game in the eighth helped Davis climb to 1-0 after two mound appearances this season. Wayne County batted around in the decisive inning and seven runners reached base on fielder's-choice plays, hits and errors.

Post 11 right-hander Jesse Lancaster threw a perfect ninth and notched two strikeouts. He ended the game with a behind-the-back grab of a line-drive hit by lead-off batter Brad Bagley.

Three West pitchers combined to surrender just four earned runs on 10 hits. Six errors accounted for eight unearned runs. Six of nine Wayne County starters had at least one hit. Sutton, Lovett and Jes Snyder each turned in a multiple-hit performance.

Pitt Co.-West 110 210 200 -- 7 8 6

Wayne County 103 100 25x -- 12 10 1

Leading hitters -- Wayne County -- Garrett Sutton 2-4; Jes Snyder 2-4, 2 RBI; Erik Lovett 2-4, 2B, RBI; Todd MacCoy 1-5, 2 RBI; Philip Pennington 1-3, RBI; Garrett Davis 1-2, 2 RBI; Austin Hood 1-1. Pitt County-West -- Josh Wilson 3-4, RBI; Bill Hopkins 1-1, RBI; Bryant Cooke 2-4; Blake Jamison 1-3, 3B, RBI.

DP -- Pitt County-West 1. LOB -- Wayne County 6, Pitt County-West 3. SH -- Scoggin. SF -- Snyder. SB -- Sutton, Wilson 2, Hopkins 2, Cooke 2, Jamison 2, Scoggin. CS -- Hopkins 2, Wilson.


Pitt County-West (0-3, 0-1)

C. Jones 7 8 7 4 2 2

Wood (L) 2/3 2 5 0 0 0

K. Jones 1/3 0 0 0 0 0

Wayne County (6-0, 1-0)

Butts 4 3 4 2 4 4

Pennington 2 2 1 1 0 0

Davis (W, 1-0) 2 3 2 2 2 0

Lancaster 1 0 0 0 0 2

PB -- Combs 2, Scoggin. HBP -- Sutton (by C. Jones), Bagley (Pennington).